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When you're visiting the scenic Oregon coast or sightseeing in bustling Portland, summertime can be quite crowded in the Beaver State. With more people, there's always a greater risk for unfortunate accidents to occur. Many cities in our region are walker and cyclist friendly, but in the blink of an eye, disaster can strike when motorists are not exceedingly careful on the roadways and in crosswalks. Oregon personal injury attorneys see a slew of pedestrian related lawsuits each year, and they can help you learn who is responsible for injury and damage in the event of a tragedy.
Oregon Pedestrian Accidents
Anyone who has experienced--and survived--being hit by a car knows it is a downright terrifying and life-changing ordeal. When you are seconds from possible death, the last thing on your mind is a lawsuit. Still, people who are lucky enough to walk away from a car-on-pedestrian accident should know their legal options and go about protecting their best interests after a near-deadly collision.
Your health is always of the utmost importance, but if you have your wits about you in the moments after being struck, there are a number of things you can do to ensure the best possible outcome if you have to sue for damages. Remember that it is a person's lawful responsibility to demonstrate caution when he or she poses a threat to the community, and in this case, someone wielding a two ton car will always jeopardize a person on foot. Most importantly, consulting with Corvallis attorneys will help give you a comprehensive understanding of how the law comes into play in a pedestrian accident.
What to Do If You're Hit by a Car
1. Keep the driver on the scene. It's not to say that most folks would flee the scene of an accident, but in reality, many victims assume they are fine. The initial shock and humiliation of being hit confuses people, and if they don't feel immediate pain, they insist it's no big deal. Once a driver makes his or her way off, though, it may be too late. Oregon personal injury attorneys recommend that once you are safely out of the street, do all that you can to keep the other party present. No matter how minor your injuries may be, people with broken ribs, knees, and other major afflictions may not know it for hours.
2. Ask witnesses to stay. Minor car-on-pedestrian collisions occur most frequently in places like parking lots, where there are lots of people present. Even if the event seemed negligible, calmly request for observers to stay with you. Their perception of events will be much clearer than yours, and if the driver does not cooperate, witnesses can help your case in court.
3. Always call the police. In order to seek damages for your medical bills, loss of income, pain, and suffering, you need a formal documentation of the event. Even if you're not sure who is at fault, calling the police to the scene is of absolute importance. If anything, they can ensure your physical safety. In the best case scenario, the police report will help you make a case for compensation if the driver is in the wrong.
4. Take pictures and keep careful records. If you are well enough to move about while waiting for law enforcement, capture your surroundings including the motorist's license plate, car, street signs, and anything else that might serve as evidence in a later court battle.
5. Always see a doctor or go to the emergency room, depending on the severity of your injuries. Victims of accidents are often so upset and distraught that they convince themselves they will go later, but if you wait too long, your records may not hold up in court. Once you seek prompt professional medical care, keep an immaculate paper trail of all your accumulating bills and other documentation relevant to your injuries.
6. Finally, seek legal advice if you want representation or feel you can't compete against the insurance company alone. Experienced Oregon personal injury attorneys like those at Nelson MacNeil Rayfield offer expert insight on how to build a solid case in the event of a minor to severe run-in with a motor vehicle. As the victim of an almost tragedy, don't be afraid to advocate for yourself and for what you rightly deserve.